Recently I joined a circle of amazing women who have two things in common with me for sure…. we are mothers and photographers. We love our children with every ounce of us and we love to document their everyday with our camera lens. Each month we will write letters to our sons and daughters in order to document their everyday in pictures and words. Our hope is that these letters serve as an everlasting memory of their childhood.
And here is letter number six…
Your week at camp is now over… and boy did that week challenge you and me both! For you, it meant that you learned to use a screw driver and other tools to take things apart. And I am ashamed to say that your father and I never took the time to show you how to do that… so sorry! You also had to use your imagination all day long in order to invent something using a bunch of JUNK! And you did… by the end of the week you were an expert at it all. You walked away with so many different creations…and just the fact that you know what a PROTOTYPE is was amazing.
For me, your time at camp challenged me too. For one, on your very first day you struggled with being around kids that were not quick to share or take turns. You came home in tears because you took it very personal… and of course the protector in me just wanted to go there and make sure that when you asked… the other kids would let you participate. My goal for you was to have some fun and it saddened me that on your very first day at camp your excitement went away. Putting all my sadness and frustration aside, I explained to you that not all kids had learned to take turns yet. Some kids still had not learned to share and only focused on their own wants and needs. Although these kids are nine and ten years old, they still needed more time to learn that very important life skill. And I made sure you knew that their actions were not meant to hurt you… and all you could do was continue to show them what sharing looked like and thank them for any opportunity they gave you. I also encouraged you to focus on the positive… on the kids who were kind and generous. And you did… by the last day you had made friends and seeing you interact with them made me the happiest mommy in the world.
On our drive to your camp on the very last day, you shared with me fears that your invention would not work. You worked on this project for days, and knowing that it would be showcased in just a few hours worried you tremendously. And I know what that worry feels like… because many times I worry too. But one thing that I learned in my many years as a teacher, photographer, and mommy is that no one will believe in you unless you do. And the amount of worry you put in to something won’t help you achieve what you want. And although I wanted to help you finish this invention so that you could experience success… it took everything in me to just say, “do your best and whatever happens will be good enough.” Those words took your fears away and I know that the pressure was off. So many times as your mommy I want to save you and help you so that you don’t experience failure… but it is through failure that we LEARN. And boy did you learn that day.
Your invention worked, and although I was proud to see it, I felt more pride when a teacher who knew you only 5 days said to me, “you have a very kind little boy. I loved working with him.” With those words, I walked away knowing that I am one of the luckiest moms in the WORLD!
And now.. check out the next letter in the circle. Head on over to Anna’s blog and read the letter to her sweet boy.